Do you agree with the view that increasing dependence on donor agencies for development reduces the importance of community participation in the development process? Justify your answer.

Sample Answer


Institutional Donors such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Azim Premji Foundations have contributed towards the social sector such as COVID Vaccination, education in rural areas, skill development, Aspirational District Programme etc. Fundings for NGOs have also increased through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds which effectively has increased dependency on NGOs and also reduced community participation.


Community Participation

  • Increased dependence on funding by donor agencies also reduces bargaining capacity and community participation due to conditionalities imposed by donor agencies.
  • Community participation is an important tool to mobilize community resources as participation is viewed as a facilitator
    • to sort any differences in the planning and implementation stages,
    • to speed up the process of implementation, and
    • to complement and supplement the efforts of the respective NGOs.

Concerns on Funding by Donor Agencies

  • Loss of Agency – funding by donor agencies comes with its own sets of conditionalities
  • Erosion of state’s responsibility – Welfare initiatives in the social sector is the responsibility of states under DPSP.
  • Self-serving attitudes/agendas of NGOs – Increased funding from donor agencies ensures financial autonomy to NGOs and additional amount is further utilized suit one’s agendas.
  • Syphoning of funds – has often been witnessed number of instances where funds are received on paper but misused for agency’s purposes.
  • Elite capture of NGOs: They often function as agencies for the glorification of individuals.
  • Some NGOs involved in misuse of foreign funding received under FCRA.
  • Cannot be said to be truly democratic as they represent very small section of the society including those who fund their functioning.


Thus, there is a need for balance in funding by donor agencies along with community participation to ensure overall development of the vulnerable and marginalised sections of the society.

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